D-503 - Pop Tunes? (Reissue) [LLR008]
Reissue of one of D-503's more critically regarded albums, plus bonus remixes and alternate versions.
Run time 1:07:09
Review of the original release by Phil Legard, a.k.a. Xenis Emputae:
The sound of an unknown instrument (somewhere between a clarinet and a violin) being tuned in a humid basement might describe the sound of the opening track of Pop Tunes. Entitled "Salamander" it's a cool, atmospheric track full of grace that captures the movements of the semi mythical lizard as it crawls around the speakers. Following this is "King of Candlesticks" - a heavily delayed piece which creates a dense atmosphere midway between the womb and a nightmare. This mood continues on "Don't Tell the Children" with its underwater voices and rhythmic pulses. The spooky outro sample is then cut short by the granular madness of "Snowdon Easy" which also has some nice editing and looping to add interest to the gurgling torrent of noise. As for the track which follows - "The Intoxicated" - well, the title says it all! A meandering, confusing track that made me feel quite helpless. This is a good thing, believe me! "Paper the Walls" begins quite dreamily and the hypnotic buzz works nicely and creates a nice off-set with the sample which fades in and mutates for the most-part of the track. My favourite composition has to be "Wait Here" which is dense, insular, atmospheric, comforting and spooky. The final listed track, called "Several Minutes Remaining" is like being a in a clock in the Phantom of the Operas lair. A seedy organ plods its way in slow-motion through the sonic blackness while an unaware clock ticks away to itself - it's atmospheric and impulsive. And what of the final 'secret' (?) track? Reversed organ samples and a speedy rhythm element give it a large, open air feel - my first impression was of a rain forest - a nice, mellow track and the voice at the end sounds a bit like Syd Barrett as a bonus!
D-503 uses a wide palette of samples and sounds in this release and the production and quality is excellent. It appears to be less noise oriented than his other work - more 'indie-experimental'. Stand-out tracks are Salamander, Wait Here and Several Minutes Remaining.